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1st PC Build need basic advice - order of installation motherboard then big cooler?

The Supermicro MB instructions say mount the Xeon based X10SRA MB first, then install the cooler.
I assume its sensible to mount the Noctua Secure2 mounting bars first then, install the MB, connect any awkward cables etc. and then thermal paste it and FINALLY fit the Noctua NH-D15 Cooler last?

I only ask as so many U Tube pc building vids show them installing the MB with the attached cooler in place.
Personally I see the logic of settling in the MB without say any strain of such a heavy huge cooler, so the board is aligned and secured totally unstrained.

One other question - it seems per the Supermicro manual, that on should not overtighten the MB to the case more than 8lbs/ft.
As I have a good torque screw driver, if younwere me would you use the same totque values to secure the Noctua mounting frame tomthe motherboard and the actual Noctual cooler using the same torque settings?
Wierdly Noctua dont have the reccomended torque values.

I am not OCD about this, but if a supplier says its critical you dont go over such a torque value, and you have a suitable torque screwdriver it might be a good idea on my first ever pc build to use a similar setting for other components, no?
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  1. The way you're suggesting is the way I do it. Mounting bars pre install and mount the cooler itself right at the end of your build. They're so huge it can make it awkward to connect other cables, so putting it in last makes sense to me.

    RE over-tightening, it's my understanding that those Noctua SecureFirm mounting brackets are designed to prevent over-tightening, the screws will just stop once in place. However, I'm not 100% sure on that one and I'd never be applying too much pressure. Nice and firm with a comfortable single hand grip should be plenty and perfectly safe.
  2. Thanks,
    My thoughts exactly on the cables, as this cooler looks massive and there are some cables at the top that I think would be awfully fiddly fitting withthe cooler fan closely overhanging say the 8 pin mother board power connector.

    My concern ref the torque was the Noctua if fitted to say the z170 motherboard uses the Noctua backplate. But with the 2011-3 Xeon board the mounting bars just screw into the cpu camp fitting contraption. So I thought belt and braces just tighten it till it stops, but use the torque screw driver so in any event you cant overdo it.

    All this may seem OCD, but I admit I am a trifle nervous doing my first ever build using £2,200 worth of components. :-/

    Rather wish I had done a cheaper build before with parts costing half as much, to get the hang of it. :(
  3. Best answer
    No, you'll be fine. As long as you follow those mounting instructions closely. Those 2011-3 boards have a bunch more layers, there are 8 memory slots across 4 channels to route, as well as 40 PCIe lanes from the CPU. That means more layers = thicker & stronger motherboard = much less likely to warp/damage motherboard from the weight of the cooler.

    Sure, if it makes you feel better, use that torque screw driver, but trust the Noctua system... they're the best in the business when it comes to quality and mounting.
  4. rhysiam said:
    No, you'll be fine. As long as you follow those mounting instructions closely. Those 2011-3 boards have a bunch more layers, there are 8 memory slots across 4 channels to route, as well as 40 PCIe lanes from the CPU. That means more layers = thicker & stronger motherboard = much less likely to warp/damage motherboard from the weight of the cooler.

    Sure, if it makes you feel better, use that torque screw driver, but trust the Noctua system... they're the best in the business when it comes to quality and mounting.


    Thanks so much for the reassuring info - very much appreciated
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